Category Archives: social media

Duterte Makes Peace While Robredo Prepares for War

While President-elect Duterte and his team are busy with forging a peace agreement with the communist party of the Philippines and ending a decades-long insurgency that has claimed thousands of Filipino lives, the team of in coming Vice President Leni Robredo and their allies in the media are preoccupied with making a fuss over the separate inauguration ceremonies for the two newly elected officials.

In trying to make a mountain out of this molehill – or more appropriately a shit pile – Robredo and her cohorts are showing just how petty and small-minded they are in the face of the greater socio-economic challenges facing the nation. It is no wonder then that her running mate was soundly trounced, and she herself barely scraping enough votes from vote-buying to get a win in the recently held elections.

And while the media wants to paint the decision of Duterte in political colors, the fact of the matter is really much more mundane – there just aren’t enough seats in Malacanang to hold all the guests if both the President and Vice President are inaugurated at the same time.

This information was already conveyed to Mindavote a few days before the formal announcement of the inaugural arrangements. According to our source the President-elect stuck to his original pronouncement of wanting to hold the event in Malacanang. This of course posed several logistical problems, not the least of which was the limited – only 500 seats – capacity of the venue. This meant that after all the mandatory invitations have been sent out – to the diplomatic core, the senate president and speaker of the house, cabinet secretaries, etc – there were only a little more than 100 invitations left for the President and Vice President, and their families and personal guests. 

This is why it was decided to hold the event separately, to allow each of them to celebrate it in a way that was both significant and meaningful to them. But of course, this kind of simple and sincere reasoning does not fit the narrative that the media wants to portray – that of a divisive and dictatorial President Duterte. 

Then again, this isn’t like the old days when all the news and information had to pass, and was controlled by the traditional media. People can now get the truth from other sources and make their own informed opinion.

Calculating True Value of Duterte’s Social Media Campaign

For the first time in Philippine history, we have elected a President not because he had more money than the other candidates, but because he had more likes, shares, and comments on Facebook


With the release of the Statement of Campaign Expenditures by the candidates that ran in the 2016 elections, people – especially the voters – are able to get a glimpse of the personalities behind their candidates.

In the case of Robredo, Poe, etc, the lump sum declarations without any details as to who and how much each campaign contributor gave is less informative about the details, but speaks volumes about how these candidates operate. Transparency and accountability are governance principles that may or may not be important to them.

As for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, by revealing the names of his contributors, he is putting the rest of the country on notice that he is not afraid to be scrutinized. And neither should the other members of his cabinet and all government officials. By setting the standard of integrity higher than it ever was, it is now up to others to follow his example. And failing, suffer the inevitable consequence.

But what the SOCE  forms fails to account for, and here Duterte received more than any other candidate, is the contribution in time, effort, creativity, passion, and all around support given by millions of Filipinos on social media.

While it has been talked about over and over again, with “expert” analysis coming from all colors of the political spectrum, the phenomena that was Duterte’s social media surge may never be adequately explained nor accounted for. Being largely organic – despite what other candidates might say – it is almost impossible to track the growth of the movement and its overall impact on the campaign.

For the first time in Philippine history, the individual efforts of these so-called Dutertards – alone or in groups, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – proved more valuable than the hundreds of millions of pesos donated by the various campaign donors. And while it may be impossible to put a monetary value on these individual efforts of pure volunteerism, the results of their sacrifice cannot be denied. And on June 30, 2016 – as our new President takes his oath – we offer a silent prayer for his success and the continued vigilance of the Dutertards.

Leni Robredo’s Own Game of Thrones part 2

By Sass Rogando Sasot

Guest writer for MINDAVOICES






That is the key question in interpreting the dinner held in honour of Vice President-elect Robredo that foreign diplomats in the Philippines attended. The presumption is “No. Non-citizens have no right to participate in the conduct of public affairs of countries of which they are not citizens.” 

What are the relevant sources of international law? I can think of two international treaties: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. 

Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) grants the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs ONLY to citizens. By implication, non-citizens don’t have that right. This exclusion is a nod to one of the sacrosanct principles in international relations: territorial sovereignty, which is essentially the power to exclude.

The next question then is what type of activities can be considered as related to the “conduct of public affairs.” CCPR General Comment No. 25 of  the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN body given the task of interpreting the ICCPR, provides clarification ( 

Paragraph 25: The conduct of public affairs…is a broad concept which relates to the exercise of political power, in particular the exercise of legislative, executive and administrative powers. It covers all aspects of public administration, and the formulation and implementation of policy at international, national, regional and local levels…”

Having this in mind, is the dinner held in honour of Vice President-elect Robredo related to the exercise of political power in the Philippines? God is in the details. The organisers of that dinner has the duty to explain that that dinner is not in anyway related to the conduct of public affairs in the Philippines. Given the current political climate, do we have a reason to assume that this dinner is not related to the exercise of political power in the Philippines? 

Furthermore, the diplomats who attended that dinner is duty-bound to explain that their participation in that dinner doesn’t breach their obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. 

Article 41, paragraph 1 of the Vienna Convention states that persons enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunities “have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs” of the receiving State. If the dinner is related to the exercise of political power in the Philippines, then participating in that activity may be considered an interference in the internal affairs of the country.

Things get more interesting if we consider Paragraph 2 of Article 41 of the Vienna Convention. It mandates that “all official business with the receiving State entrusted to the mission by the sending State shall be conducted with or through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving State or such other ministry as may be agreed.”

Was the participation of the diplomats in the dinner held in honour of Vice President-elect Robredo sanctioned by their government? If yes, then they are on official business. If that is the case, did they conduct this official business with or through the Department of Foreign Affairs? If it’s not an official business, and they are participating as private citizens, what gave them the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs of the Philippines?

How to keep up with the changes in social media

As demonstrated in the 2016 Presidential elections, social media is paying an increasing role not just in informing, but more importantly in organizing and mobilizing into action. The rapid changes happening on both the technology and the content development sides of the equation means that social media publishers and users also need to evolve with the times.

According to social media experts who attended Newscred’s 4th annual #ThinkContent Summit held in New York City, content marketers, or those who produce the stuff we read, hear, and see on the internet, must focus on brand purpose, make sure content strategy evolves, and not be too focused on self-promotion.

The talks were given in front of about 1,2000 content marketers from across the United States and other parts of the globe. The theme for the event was “Convergence: The New Marketing Imperative.” For more details in the event, here’s the link to the story by Newscred’s Brian Caulfield –

Netizens react to Pick-up Truck Bishop’s call for Duterte to “show delicadeza”

Netizens of all faiths and denominations reacted negatively to the call of Butuan Bishop Juan Pablo de Dios for in-coming President Rody Duterte to “show some delicadeza before criticizing the Catholic Church.” The bishop’s statements, a reported in the Philippine Star, drew the ire of Duterte’s online supporters, many lf whom called the prelate “a hypocrite.”

It can be recalled that Bishop de Dios is among those leaders of the Catholic chruch who requested favors from former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He asked for a brand new pick-up truck, which he said he will use to service his flock living in the mountains. 

Based on the comments and reactions of those who read the reposted news report on MindaVote, majority of the people felt that the bishop stepped over the line of decency with his call. “Kayo po yata dapat ang mag show ng delicadeza,” says Junice Dacalos. “Humingi kayo ng sasakyan sa gobyerno… Ang PCSO ay para sa mahirap, hindi para sa simbahan… Ang mga katulad nyong mapagsamantala ang nakakahiya sa bansang ito.”

For Rosel Zagado, being “100% Catholic” has nothing to do with his opinion about Duterte and the leaders of the church:

John Luneta for his part cautioned the CBCP from “waging war against Duterte,” saying that “they should remember that they have moved mountains to convince carholics to stay away from Duterte last election campaign, yet Duterte won by a landslide.”

For Elsie Tan, she had this advice for Bishop de Dios and all other leaders of the catholic church who still insist on meddling in politics


How Duterte and his Facebook Army are Reshaping the Landscape of Philippine Media

President Duterte Sticks it to the Media Where it Hurts

Attending one of the earlier press conferences of President-elect Rody Duterte, I could overhear some of the national media reporters wondering what time he would arrive and what would happen if he came in after their deadlines. In frantic tones becoming more panicked as the minutes ticked by, each of them were asking the asking the same question – “anong ire-report natin?”

In the succeeding days after the elections, the same scene was repeated again and again in Davao – masses of reporters looking for something to talk about. It even came to the point where someone actually did a story about the chair that Duterte sat on when he cast his ballot.

While all this was happening, people were wondering where was the President? Is he sick? Is there something wrong? Speculations where flying fast and furious, many of them fueled by his vanquished opponents.

And just as suddenly as he vanished, he came out. At 1am. Media outlets scrambled, reporters were roused from their beds for an impromptu briefing that did not disappoint. He spoke candidly and at length about many of his plans and programs, about his thoughts on the campaign, about anything at all that he wanted to say. And the hungry media took it all in.

In subsequent interviews and press conferences, the usual question and answer format was turned on its head. Now, instrad of being bombarded with questions, the President speaks and the media listen. He says what is on his mind – from his grand plans to minute details – and it is up to them to pick up what is important.

While his critics point to this a another weakness of the Duterte style of leadership, the results clearly show that it is the traditional, mainstream media from Manila who are losing the war. Duterte is forcing them to play his game – or be out-scooped by other, more nimble media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 

Duterte’s unorthodox communication style and irregular schedules are becoming a headache for the networks. But they cannot do anything about it because they know that, just like in the campaign, Duterte does not need to them to communicate with the people. He has social media. He has his Facebook army who are ready, willing, and able to broadcast anything he says, anytime of the day, to all corners of the world.


This is the game changer for the Duterte presidency. Unlike in the past when media giants could arbitrarily set the national agenda and make politicians dance to their tune – they have been brought down from the probinsyano from Mindanao.


Next: Separaring the Chaff from the Wheat – How Duterte Out Maneuvered Roxas and the Disenteng Tao Campaign

The Photo used in this article was taken from the internet. Credits to the owner.

If you liked this article, please comment below and let us know what you think. Follow us for more of the sme content.